Tuning In Episode 81: The X-Files, Never Again/Memento Mori Posted on February 1, 2018 by Eric Brasure http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/tuninginshow.com/podcast-player/337/tuning-in-episode-81-the-x-files-never-againmemento-mori.mp3“Never Again” finds Scully in a rough place emotionally, as “Memento Mori” finds Scully in a rough place physically. iTunes RSS Tags: "Momento Mori", "Never Again", Mulder, Scully, Skinner, The X-Files 2 Comments
I’m catching up on a backlog here, so sorry for the late comment.. I’m not plugged into the X-Files fan community at all, but I feel like we really need to talk about Mulder as emblematic about a sort of 90s white male “paragon” of masculinity. I find that as I watch along with the X-Files with Tuning In, I’m starting to really, really hate this show. And that’s not because of the podcast, but because watching and analyzing the show with you guys really reminds me how much of an asshole Mulder is simply because he is not the focus of what’s going on in an episode. I feel like this is reflective of the X-Files writers room–perhaps an effect of the “15 or 16 year-old’s fantasy room” you imagine that room to be. It probably really solidifies itself in next season’s “Bad Blood,” where it’s played for laughs, but heaven forbid that Mulder actually give Scully the same courtesy that she shows him time and time again with his kooky theories. Maybe the show would have gotten Scully to believing Mulder consistently if he hadn’t shot her down all the times that she had an encounter with the paranormal that tested her faith or emotionally compromised her. In a sense, Mulder’s misogyny seems to me to be really hampering his quest to be believed and to find evidence of the paranormal, and whether it’s the 90s or something else, I don’t believe that the writer’s room on this show is self-aware enough to engage with this beyond simply playing it for laughs. It’s just felt like a long time waiting for Scully to tell Mulder “You expect me to believe your shit all the time and you don’t do me the courtesy when something weird happens to me.”
I say that because I wonder if the show believes in what it does in “Memento Mori,” or in other previous episodes, where Mulder openly dismisses Scully but “makes up” for it in moments like this by being there and caring for her when she is emotionally compromised. I know that the show prided itself on not making Scully the damsel in distress in earlier seasons, but this idiosyncratic aspect of Mulder’s character feels sloppy. Maybe it’s me wishing that the show be more progressive than I should expect from the 90s, but being emotionally there for a woman does not excuse the fact that you categorically dismiss her for the very things that you expect her to believe when they happen to you.
Yeah, “Bad Blood” is a good episode with some really problematic character development. But, we’ll be getting to that soon enough, so I’m sure we’ll be giving our thoughts on this then!